Kelton House Museum and Garden

Last updated
Kelton House Museum and Garden
Kelton House, Columbus, Ohio.jpg
Location586 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio
Type Historic house museum
Public transit accessAiga bus trans.svg COTA alt logo.svg 11
Ic directions bike 48px.svg CoGo
Website keltonhouse.com
Fernandez Cortez Kelton House
Kelton House Museum and Garden
Interactive map highlighting the building's location
Coordinates 39°57′39″N82°59′04″W / 39.960862°N 82.984378°W / 39.960862; -82.984378 Coordinates: 39°57′39″N82°59′04″W / 39.960862°N 82.984378°W / 39.960862; -82.984378
Built1852
Part of East Town Street Historic District (ID76001425 [1] )
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 8, 1979
Designated CRHPOctober 4, 1982

The Kelton House Museum and Garden is a Greek Revival and Italianate mansion in the Discovery District of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The museum was established by the Junior League of Columbus to promote an understanding of daily life, customs, and decorative arts in 19th-century Columbus and to educate visitors about the Underground Railroad.

Contents

Overview

Fernando Cortez Kelton was a merchant from Vermont who rose to prominence in Columbus as a drygoods wholesaler. He and his wife, Sophia Langdon Stone Kelton, built the Kelton House on Town Street in 1852. The Keltons were fervent abolitionists who used their home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Fernando Kelton was so respected for his abolitionist work that he was selected to be a pallbearer at the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln's remains were brought to Columbus on their way to Illinois for burial. The Keltons' eldest son Oscar joined the 95th Ohio Infantry, Company A in 1862 to fight against slavery. He rose to the rank of first lieutenant before getting killed in the Battle of Brice's Crossroads on June 10, 1864. The same year, the Keltons took in Martha Hartway, a young runaway slave from Virginia. She was raised as part of the family until her marriage in 1874 to Thomas Lawrence, a carpenter whose work can still be seen in the Kelton House.

The house passed on to the Kelton's son, Frank Kelton. He married Isabella Morrow Coit, a suffragist who was one of the first four women to attend The Ohio State University. Her mother was the local women's rights leader Elizabeth Greer Coit. Frank later traded houses with his brother Edwin to better accommodate the various sizes of their families.

Edwin's daughter Grace Bird Kelton was the last member of the family to own the house. She lived there until her death in 1975. Grace was one of the first people in the country to make her living as an interior decorator, having studied at both the Parsons School of Design and the Pratt Institute. Her work was widely recognized; along with other members of AID, she consulted on the Jacqueline Kennedy redecoration of the White House in the 1960s.

After Grace's death, the house was left to the Columbus Foundation. They lease it to the Junior League of Columbus, who restored it to represent a time period between 1852 and 1900. The house now operates as a museum and events facility. Approximately 80–90 percent of the furnishings that visitors can see in the home were owned by the Kelton family.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Harriet Beecher Stowe American abolitionist and author (1811–1896)

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist. She came from the Beecher family, a religious family, and became best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), which depicts the harsh conditions experienced by enslaved African Americans. The book reached an audience of millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and in Great Britain, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Stowe wrote 30 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and for her public stances and debates on social issues of the day.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, based on the history of the Underground Railroad. Opened in 2004, the Center also pays tribute to all efforts to "abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people."

John Parker (abolitionist)

John P. Parker was an American abolitionist, inventor, iron moulder and industrialist. Parker, who was African American, helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad resistance movement based in Ripley, Ohio. He saved and rescued fugitive slaves for nearly fifteen years. He was one of the few black people to patent an invention before 1900. His house in Ripley has been designated a National Historic Landmark and restored.

John Rankin (abolitionist)

John Rankin was an American Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist. Upon moving to Ripley, Ohio, in 1822, he became known as one of Ohio's first and most active "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. Prominent pre-Civil War abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Henry Ward Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were influenced by Rankin's writings and work in the anti-slavery movement.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Cincinnati, Ohio) United States historic place

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is a historic home in Cincinnati, Ohio which was once the residence of influential antislavery author Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Ohio in the American Civil War Overview of the role of the U.S. state of Ohio during the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the State of Ohio played a key role in providing troops, military officers, and supplies to the Union army. Due to its central location in the Northern United States and burgeoning population, Ohio was both politically and logistically important to the war effort. Despite the state's boasting a number of very powerful Republican politicians, it was divided politically. Portions of Southern Ohio followed the Peace Democrats and openly opposed President Abraham Lincoln's policies. Ohio played an important part in the Underground Railroad prior to the war, and remained a haven for escaped and runaway slaves during the war years.

Betsy Mix Cowles

Betsy Mix Cowles was an early leader in the United States abolitionist movement. She was an active and influential Ohio-based reformer, and was a noted feminist and an educator. She counted among her friends and acquaintances people such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry C. Wright, and Abby Kelley Foster.

Cincinnati in the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Ohio River port city of Cincinnati, Ohio, played a key role as a major source of supplies and troops for the Union Army. It also served as the headquarters for much of the war for the Department of the Ohio, which was charged with the defense of the region, as well as directing the army's offensives into Kentucky and Tennessee.

Samuel and Sally Wilson House United States historic place

Samuel and Sally Wilson House is a registered historic building in Cincinnati, Ohio, listed in the National Register on November 15, 2000. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

John Rankin House (Ripley, Ohio) United States historic place

The John Rankin House is a historic house museum at 6152 Rankin Hill Road in Ripley, Ohio. Built in 1828, it was home to Presbyterian abolitionist John Rankin, and was one of the original stops on the Underground Railroad. Harriet Beecher Stowe's visit to Rankin provided some of the story that became Uncle Tom's Cabin. The house was acquired by the State of Ohio in 1938 and is now operated by the Ohio History Connection and opened for tours. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

The culture of Columbus, Ohio, is particularly known for museums, performing arts, sporting events, seasonal fairs and festivals, and architecture of various styles from Greek Revival to modern architecture.

Colonel Simon Perkins American politician

"Colonel" Simon Perkins (1805–1887) was an American businessman, farmer, state senator, and entrepreneur. He was born in Warren, Ohio in 1805, but spent most of his life in Akron, Ohio. He was the oldest son of Simon Perkins, the founder of the City of Akron. The title "Colonel" was honorary; no records exist that show he served in the military.

Barclay and Edwin Coppock American rebel

Barclay Coppock, also spelled "Coppac", "Coppic", and "Coppoc", was a follower of John Brown and a Union Army soldier in the American Civil War. Along with his brother Edwin Coppock, he participated in Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.

Lewis and Harriet Hayden House

Lewis and Harriet Hayden House was the home of African-American abolitionists who had escaped from slavery in Kentucky; it is located in Beacon Hill, Boston. They maintained the home as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Haydens were visited by Harriet Beecher Stowe as research for her book, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Lewis Hayden was an important leader in the African-American community of Boston; in addition, he lectured as an abolitionist and was a member of the Boston Vigilance Committee, which resisted the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Delia Webster

Delia Ann Webster was an American teacher, author, businesswoman and abolitionist in Kentucky who, with Calvin Fairbank, aided many slaves, including Lewis Hayden, his wife Harriet, and their son Joseph to escape to Ohio. She was convicted and sentenced to two years in the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort for aiding the Haydens' escape, but pardoned after two months.

Discovery District (Columbus, Ohio) Neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

The Discovery District is a special improvement district in downtown Columbus, Ohio, the home of Columbus State Community College, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus Museum of Art, and Columbus Metropolitan Library. It is considered a cultural district because of its close proximity to higher educational campuses and art destinations. It was named to imply that the area is full of possibility due to the number of learning and creative campuses in this small area. "Culture, art, and academia converge and present the Discovery District." While not typically viewed as the most prominent Columbus neighborhood, the density of academic and arts-based institutions in this area are what make this creative campus unique.

James Preston Poindexter

James Preston Poindexter was an abolitionist, civil rights activist, politician, and Baptist minister from Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Richmond, Virginia and moved to Ohio as a young man. In Ohio he was a part of abolitionist and Underground Railroad societies and became a Baptist preacher. From the pulpit, he preached against slavery and for African-American rights. After the American Civil War (1861–1865), he was involved in political activities in Columbus, serving on the City Council, the city Board of Education, the state Forestry Bureau, and as trustee of the Institute for the Blind and of Wilberforce University. At his death, he was noted as the second longest serving advocate for African American rights after Booker T. Washington.

East Town Street Historic District United States historic place

The East Town Street Historic District is a historic district in Downtown Columbus, Ohio. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and the Columbus Register of Historic Properties in 1982; the district boundaries differ between the two entries.

Belle Coit Kelton

Belle Coit Kelton was an American suffragist and one of the first four women admitted to Ohio State University. She was the daughter of prominent Ohio suffragist Elizabeth Greer Coit, and a close friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Elizabeth Greer Coit

Elizabeth Greer Coit was a prominent Ohio suffragist and humanitarian, who founded Columbus' first women's suffrage organization and was its inaugural President.

References

  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. March 13, 2009.